In the middle of juggling diapers, onesies, and nap schedules, one of your biggest concerns when you have a new baby is nutrition. It’s completely understandable — you want your little one to grow and develop as they should.
The experts at Mustela are here to give you some tips on baby feeding so you can rest a little bit easier! Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula-feeding, you’ll find tips that apply to you and learn a couple of ways to take care of yourself as well.
12 Expert Baby Feeding Tips
1) Skip The Water And Juice
For the first several months of your baby’s life, don’t give them anything other than breastmilk or formula. That means no water and no juice.
As boring as this might sound, it’s all that your baby needs to grow and develop! Once your little one is around six months old, you can begin giving them small amounts of water or juice, but breastmilk or formula should still be their main beverage.
2) Find A Comfortable Breastfeeding Position
There’s no one right position — try various breastfeeding positions (like the cradle hold, crossover hold, or laid-back position) to see what works best for you and your baby. Don’t forget to use pillows as needed to support yourself.
Once you and your little one are in the right position, it’ll be easier for your baby to latch on correctly, which is important for more than one reason! That brings us to our next tip.
3) Help Your Baby Latch On Correctly
Making sure your baby latches on correctly helps them feed well and get enough milk. It can also save you from sore or cracked nipples.
Your baby might need a little guidance from you. Touch their upper lip with your nipple so they open their mouth big and wide. Then bring their head to your breast (not your breast to their head) and put their chin to your breast first, followed by their mouth.
If you have to take your baby off for any reason, break the suction by gently pushing down on your skin near their mouth or inserting your finger into the corner of their mouth.
4) Care For Your Skin
Motherhood can take a toll on you, and breastfeeding is not always a walk in the park! Take care of yourself by tending to your breasts. A little TLC will go a long way toward helping you feel good and care for your little one.
Look after your nipples (this is especially important if you have soreness or cracking!) by applying Mustela’s Nursing Comfort Balm.
This soothing nipple cream will ease discomfort and moisturize sensitized nipples. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly, made of 100% naturally derived ingredients, and safe for both you and your baby during prenatal and postpartum pregnancy.
Also, try Mustela’s Bust Firming Serum to nourish and hydrate your breasts, neck, and neckline. Safe to use while breastfeeding, this serum will tone your skin and give it a firmer look and feel!
7) Don’t Wait For Your Baby To Cry
Babies cry for several reasons, including wanting to eat! But crying is a late hunger cue — it’s a sign that they’re too hungry. If you wait until your little one cries to give them a bottle or nurse them, you may have a more difficult time calming them down.
Instead, be on the lookout for earlier signs of hunger, like rooting (opening their mouth and moving their head side-to-side), sucking on their fingers, or smacking their lips. That’s your cue to warm the bottle or settle in to nurse.
8) Monitor Diapers And Weight Gain
Your baby can’t yet verbalize if they’re full or not, so how can you know if they’re eating enough? Look for wet and dirty diapers as well as weight gain.
Wet And Dirty Diapers
For the first couple of days, your tiny baby won’t have many dirty diapers, but by the time they’re four or five days old, they should dirty a diaper two or three times per day.
The same principle applies to wet diapers. The first day or two, your little one may wet only two diapers, but that will increase over the next few days. By five days old, they’ll typically wet six or more diapers every day.
Get into good diaper-changing habits from the very beginning. Don’t leave your little one in a dirty diaper, clean their bottom well with Cleansing Wipes, and care for their delicate skin with Mustela’s Liniment, which is made with natural ingredients.
When it comes to your baby’s weight, don’t be surprised if they lose a bit right at first. Babies usually drop several ounces over the first couple of weeks, but after that, they should gain five to eight ounces per week for the first several months.
Your pediatrician will check your baby’s weight when you go for a visit. If you have any concerns or questions about your little one’s weight gain or eating habits, don’t be afraid to ask.
9) Feed Your Baby Frequently
It might seem like all you do is feed your baby, change their diapers, and try to get a few precious minutes of sleep when you can. There’s a reason you feel that way — babies eat frequently during their first few months!
Your newborn should eat between eight and 12 times in a day (24 hours) — at least every four hours. They may even eat as often as every one and a half or two hours! But after the first month, the number and frequency of feedings will decrease as your baby grows older.
How can you know when your little one is all done with a feeding? Your baby should stop nursing when they’re ready and will be relaxed and content.
To be sure they’re finished, give them a little break and a burp, then offer the breast or bottle again.
10) Prepare The Right Amount Of Formula
While you’re still getting the hang of this parenthood thing, it can be difficult to know how much formula to prepare for a feeding.
Prepare too little and you’ll be trying to get a bottle ready with one hand while you’re baby cries. Prepare too much and you may have to throw out what you don’t use.
We recommend making two to three ounces of formula each time you feed your little one at first. As your baby grows, they’ll eat less frequently and need more formula at each feeding. Increase the amount of formula you make over time so that your baby is full and content after a feeding.
11) Don’t Introduce Solid Foods Too Early
Regardless of how long you breastfeed, when your baby is around six months old, you can introduce solid foods. You’ll know they’re ready if they’re picking things up with their fingers, able to sit and hold their head up well, and don’t push food out of their mouth with their tongue.
Just remember: even once you’ve started offering solids to your baby, breastmilk or formula is still an essential part of their diet!
12) Stock Your Diaper Bag With Baby Feeding Essentials
Knowing that your baby will need to eat frequently, stock your diaper bag so that you have what you need when you’re out-and-about or traveling with your little one. Don’t get caught empty-handed!
Make sure you have a nursing cover, bottles, formula, bibs, and the like. That’s in addition to the other diaper bag essentials, like No Rinse Cleansing Water for easy clean-ups and a multi-purpose ointment like Cicastela Moisture Recovery Cream.
And don’t forget Mustela’s Bebe On The Go travel-friendly set for quick and easy hydration and clean-ups no matter where you are!
Nurture Your Newborn And Care For Yourself
Caring for a newborn can feel overwhelming, but keeping them well-fed doesn’t have to be complicated and is a great opportunity to bond with your little one.
With our baby feeding tips, regularly scheduled visits to the pediatrician, and lots of love and TLC, your baby will be full, healthy, and happy.
Don’t forget to care for yourself in the meantime so you can give the best possible care to your little one. Keep Mustela’s Bust Firming Serum and Nursing Comfort Balm on hand so you can continue nursing your tiny one as long as you want!
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